Too many curveballs, too little change ups

Hello everyone i am 15 years old turning 16 in november and ive been told i throw low 80’s on my fastball. My pitching coach who usually calls all my pitches favors my curveball and i have a great change up. Everytime i get ahead in the count i always throw a curveball and i feel like i can throw the change up in that situation and it would work but he never calls any except to a lefty like once a game (i am right handed). I am trying to develop a fourth pitch and work on my velocity i plan on buying tuffcuff in the next few days but should i just throw one type of change up or should i have 2 or what? Also i want to develop a cut fastball but dont know how to grip it can anyone show me?

It’s my opinion that one good change-up is better than two mediocre change-ups. If you can get good at locating your change-up, then you can throw it in any count you’d throw a fastball. Keep working on your change-up even if your coach doesn’t call it much.

I also think you should talk to your coach about using your change-up. Maybe tell him you noticed he doesn’t call it much and ask him what you need to do to improve it. You say you have a decent change-up - does your coach know that? Maybe you just need to chat with him.

I must say I’m a little sick and tired of coaches calling pitches. How are these kids going to learn? How are catchers going to learn how to call a game? Most coaches don’t even know enough about particular pitchers or the game for that matter to even call a good game!

My point is, nobody knows about a pitcher and his stuff on that particular day better than the pitcher himself! A pitcher should always throw every pitch with CONVICTION. Hard to do that when the damn coach is calling the pitches. In my opinion, it’s a joke. Remember, when the coach wants to win the game more than the kids, it’s pathetic.

Coaches that have coached me are different lol they see that I’m smart enough to understand how to call a game. I think they even notice I know a little more about pitching then they do.

Ps. never had a coach call a game for me and never will coaches just leave me alone they know I know what pitch to throw. Coaches need to stop the BS and lets kids learn by themselfs.

[quote=“Hammer”]I must say I’m a little sick and tired of coaches calling pitches. How are these kids going to learn? How are catchers going to learn how to call a game? Most coaches don’t even know enough about particular pitchers or the game for that matter to even call a good game!

My point is, nobody knows about a pitcher and his stuff on that particular day better than the pitcher himself! A pitcher should always throw every pitch with CONVICTION. Hard to do that when the damn coach is calling the pitches. In my opinion, it’s a joke. Remember, when the coach wants to win the game more than the kids, it’s pathetic.[/quote]

If a coach is doing his job, he knows the pitcher and his stuff on that particular day just as good as the pitcher. Also, there’s a good chance the coach knows the hitters a lot better than the pitcher and catcher do. And unless the pitcher is a zombie out on the mound just nodding yes on every pitch, he should be learning about pitching based on what the coach is calling (assuming the coach knows what he’s doing).

And most coaches will allow their pitchers to shake off a pitch. But if the pitcher then gives up a hit, the pitcher better have a good explanation behind his decision to throw that certain pitch instead of what the coach called. I allow my guys to shake me off because I want them to be 100% behind whatever pitch they throw, not 50% committed to a pitch simply because it’s what I called.

It all comes down to communication. A good coach talks to his pitcher and catcher after every inning to see how they’re feeling and what they think of the approach the coach has taken up to that point. It’s a give-and-take situation. Any coach that simply calls pitches without communication and does not allow his pitchers to shake him off isn’t doing a good job.

[quote=“RoyalsCoach”]
If a coach is doing his job, he knows the pitcher and his stuff on that particular day just as good as the pitcher. Also, there’s a good chance the coach knows the hitters a lot better than the pitcher and catcher do. And unless the pitcher is a zombie out on the mound just nodding yes on every pitch, he should be learning about pitching based on what the coach is calling (assuming the coach knows what he’s doing).

And most coaches will allow their pitchers to shake off a pitch. But if the pitcher then gives up a hit, the pitcher better have a good explanation behind his decision to throw that certain pitch instead of what the coach called. I allow my guys to shake me off because I want them to be 100% behind whatever pitch they throw, not 50% committed to a pitch simply because it’s what I called.

It all comes down to communication. A good coach talks to his pitcher and catcher after every inning to see how they’re feeling and what they think of the approach the coach has taken up to that point. It’s a give-and-take situation. Any coach that simply calls pitches without communication and does not allow his pitchers to shake him off isn’t doing a good job.[/quote]

Well said. In highschool and at my last school, it was pretty much you throw the called pitch. If you don’t you might get in trouble, especially if it’s a ball.

Last summer though I had a very good summer coach and he would offer pitches but pretty much let the pitchers/catchers work it out and I had a very good catcher to work with.

This year is better also.

Also, to the OP: I’d recommend working on your fastball and one offspeed for now…

If your pitching coach demands that you throw what he calls, make sure you talk to him about what he calls.

I understand what your saying coach, and your probably one of the better coaches at calling the game. I’m just saying that I’ve been around several coaches who have NO IDEA.

Coach, if you don’t care if the pitcher shake, then why not have the catcher call the game? It’s his main job to learn how to call the game. It’s the coaches job to prepare the catcher and pitcher pregame for the situations they may come across.

Again, as a coach you have a third hand view of the game. The best two views of what’s going on is on the mound and behind the dish. They should be able to see everything from a hitters adjustment in the box to the umpires strike zone, all of which plays a role in calling a game. I’ve seen it in pro ball, and these are catchers coming out of college, these aren’t zombies or stiffs. You can easily point out the catchers who had their collegiate coach call a game for them. They have no handle on anything!

All in all, I see what your saying, but even if you have great vision, you don’t see everything the catcher and pitcher sees. I’ve never seen a coach that can crawl inside a pitchers mind and figure out exactly what he wants to throw. Remember, what the catcher puts down is a suggestion, unless if it’s a pickoff or a pitchout. Certainly certain situations should dictate what’s thrown, and that’s where the coach comes into play. That’s it!

I understand your point, but let me clear up a few things. I coach at the college level, where winning games is equally as important as the players learning, and occassionally more important. Plus, you seem to be suggesting that the players aren’t learning if I’m calling the pitches. That’s not the case at all. Like I said before, as long as they aren’t zombies out there just going along with what I call, they’re thinking about the situation and hopefully why I called each pitch and learning from the approaches I take based on the situations. And we talk a lot about why I called certain pitches. I’m not just sending in a pitch and forcing them to go with it, no questions asked.

Also, if I have a freshman catcher behind the plate and a freshman pitcher on the mound (which happens more often than you might think), do you really think they’re both going to know every hitter in the lineup and how we’ve pitched to those hitters with success in the past? We go over scouting reports before every game, but I still don’t want to put the burden completely on their shoulders. Remember, I have the scouting report in my hand during the game, they have to remember it out on the field. That’s not always a guaranteed thing.

You also said a catcher’s sign is just a suggestion. My calls are the same thing. As I said before, guys can shake me off as long as they can explain their reasoning behind their pitch choice if it doesn’t work out.

You’re right that some coaches should not be calling pitches. But I don’t agree that no coaches should call pitches. If done correctly (and that’s a big if a lot of times), it’s beneficial to the pitcher, the catcher and the entire team.

RoyalsCoach it seems more like you are trying to help them figure out how to pitch in situations and making them trust their stuff more. It doesn’t seem like when you tell them something, they just do it for no apparent reason and that’s where the problem with calling pitches comes from: if the pitcher doesn’t know why you gave a sign. But if they do know why, and they have an option to shake you off then it seems like you calling pitches is helping them learn how to pitcha game and that sounds pretty good to me.

And Huskyfan101 if I were you I’d just throw whatever I wanted to and if the coach asked why you did what you did then explain your reason why. Then again you could get in trouble but hey, to me, pitching is worth the risk.

Exactly.

Look I agree that pitchers need to pitch certain ways in certain situations. There’s no debating any of that. To me, there are situations that should be burned into a pitcher and catchers head during practice so when they get in the game it’s completely second nature. Atleast that’s exactly what happens at the professional level.

As far as having scouting reports, those are all fine and dandy, but those rarely tell the story of a hitter! Especially at the college level! At that level in my opinion it’s most important to EXECUTE pitches! In most basic situations at the college level, the execution of the pitch is more important than the actually sequencing itself. So they should be more concerned with throwing a pitch their comfortable with to maximize their execution percentages.

To me, pitching situationally is classroom work, not the coach trying to manage the game. Your players actually might surprise you if you let them learn and develop, might actually win more games too.

“In most basic situations at the college level, the execution of the pitch is more important than the actually sequencing itself.”
Really?

So if you execute a fastball that a guy is sitting on and it goes over the fence…it is more important than setting it up so he isn’t expecting the pitch you’ve set up?

“never had a coach call a game for me and never will coaches just leave me alone they know I know what pitch to throw. Coaches need to stop the BS and lets kids learn by themselfs.”

Ristar this is (In the words of John Wayne) “brave talk for a one-eyed fat man”. Whatta bunch of bilge! :roll: You will (If you make it out of little league) have your pitches called or you won’t pitch…and nobody is going to get upset if you get mad and quit either. Everyone wants to be the “man” and call his own game, as the stakes get higher coaches will control as best they can. They do call pitches in the majors…now Greg Maddux usually doesn’t have a coach calling his game but you bet rookies don’t call their own pitches or sequences.
You fellas who think you know best can continue down this road and who knows perhaps you are good enough to one day say that old jd was wrong…all coaches should just go ahead and let pitchers make the decisions as 12,13,14 year olds…but outside of your own personal experience it just isn’t going to happen.
As you learn more and more about the game you’ll learn that humility will help you learn more than your huge ego…cause just when you think you are smart…you’ll run into someone who’ll let you know just how smart you aren’t…That includes me…by a long shot…I can’t wait til i really know something about this game.

Honestly, I’ve played this game a long long time, and I don’t even have that great of a fastball, but I don’t remember ever giving up a homerun on a well executed fastball. Any hitter, atleast any good accomplished hitter will tell you that execution of a pitch is far far far more important than the sequence itself. If you don’t know that, than you really don’t know much about the game itself. If you’ve ever heard Greg Maddux talk about how he determines how well he performed in an outing, he’ll tell you exactly how many pitches he executed. That’s how he grades himself. Whether your talking about pitching, hitting, moving runners, fielding, throwing, baseball is a game of execution! You don’t have to be a genius to be a great baseball player. As long as your situationally sound and better than most at executing consistanlly, then you can play a long time.

If you can’t execute pitches, then go read a book, because you won’t make it in this game.

Remember, 98% of homeruns are pitched, not hit.

I don’t think I have ever had a game called for me by a coach but that’s because I’m only 16 and our league isn’t… the most talented and the coaches that I have had are usually really laid back and don’t care what happens. But what happens with me is sometimes the catcher will call the game and depending on the catcher he will either give me a pitch and a spot or just a pitch. I was wondering if coaches normally called pitches and spots or just pitches or what?

Even though I don’t recommend coaches calling pitches, if they do, they better be calling location also! If they don’t that’d be an even bigger joke!

Don’t know where you heard this, or more likely you just made it up, but it’s a bunch of bull.

Don’t you think part of executing a pitch is setting it up? Each pitch a pitcher throws in a game is not independent of the rest of the game. Each pitch has an effect on the following pitches. If pitch sequences were meaningless, then there would be no such thing as a “fastball count.”

haha, man you give hitters WAY to much credit!

You think you have to setup every hitter to get them out? You think they can hit your kids best fastball at the knees out of the park? Man your crazy. Look, sequences are nice but damn man, Babe Ruth is dead! and he’s certainly not coming to your college campus! If you don’t believe in execution of pitches then just watch game 7 tonight! I guarantee you most of the hits are on balls up in the zone or pitches that cut the plate in half. When I say up in the zone, it doesn’t have to be dick high, up in the zone is any pitch 3 inches above the knee cap of a hitter.

Hitting is the toughest thing to do in sports. Pitching sequences are nice and yes they can work, but in order to creat quality sequences, YOU HAVE TO EXECUTE PITCHES!!! Good sequences will not save you when a you are executing poorly!

Again, I’ve pitched for a long time and have given up plenty of homeruns to plenty of good hitters some who are playing in the big leagues and I fail to remember any of them being on a well executed pitch!

I also can’t remember thinking in my head…Dang, I’m so happy I sequenced good there, otherwise he would have crushed my hanging curveball!! That’s just ridiculous.

“If you can’t execute pitches, then go read a book, because you won’t make it in this game.”

Of course execution is important, though not the topic here, I commend you that you’ve not been taken deep on a pitch you considered a quality pitch, you are a very rare individual. The point I was making is that simply thinking execute from pitch to pitch isn’t a very effective strategy when one is discussing higher level pitching/baseball. Randy Johnsons best is very near (Or was very near) impossible to hit…same with the Rocket etc. It is an axiom in baseball that good pitching will always beat good hitting. The problem I was laying out is that throwing two fb’s and then the curve gets real obvious and no matter how good an executer, if a guy can get you down you are (At least the majority of mortals…) gonna get a stiff neck watchin balls go over a fence. The understanding and learning of this takes years of effort and hard work…who ever said it was right…even college coaches can be deficient at this skill…and the pitcher will always think he knows better. Fact of the matter is though that I would say 99.9% of kids under 17/18 don’t quite understand sequencing pitches to acheive success.

“If you’ve ever heard Greg Maddux talk about how he determines how well he performed in an outing, he’ll tell you exactly how many pitches he executed. That’s how he grades himself.”

I’ve heard Greg many times and yes he gets pissed if he is even an inch from where he wants to deliver the ball…but if you don’t think that he sequences his pitches you are wrong…My son works with the guy who caught his first Cy and I can tell you that the reason he went to a personal catcher is because he wanted someone who understood exactly what his plan of attack was and how he likes to sequence his pitches…One of the most complex signs I ever saw was when he (My sons coach) broke out to me and my son the way he (Greg) wanted his signs put down.

Congrats on your success though and this is a great discussion.

"Good sequences will not save you when a you are executing poorly!

I definately disagree with this, I’ve seen poor but workable changes wipe out entire orders (Way outside the zone…mostly bouncing), when set up with just ok fb’s. Or having someone sit on heat and get a journeymans curve instead that just freezes them…
I like your aggresiveness though I bet you kill in late innings…

Just a note though…My admin hat is on…try to avoid slamming folks as you just did the coach there…not necessary, make your point and let him make his.

I really agree with you that pitch sequencing is important, especially when you get into the higher levels of the game. All I’m saying is in order to have successfull sequences pitches have to be executed. Otherwise, those good sequences turn into predictable ones.

I’ve given up homeruns on pitches where if I look back on them I’d say “well that wasn’t a bad pitch…” But when I say a well executed pitch it means I did EXACTLY what I wanted to with the pitch. Sure, we’ve all given up hits on those pitches, but homeruns on them are extremely rare.

I do commend you though, you seem to know plenty about the game, and yes sequencing should be embedded into the thought process of kids, especially to stimulate their thinking about the game.